Plastic microbeads will help treat burns

The big challenge in fighting harmful microbes is evolution, which is producing strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and other drugs. Humanity must admit that it cannot maintain the pace of this "race to the fore, " scientists at the University of Birmingham believe. And they offer alternative methods.

Dr. Paul Roberts's team used microscopic polystyrene beads as bait for bacteria. They coated the plastic with a protein called polyvalent adhesive molecule-7. The bacteria use it as a marker to bind to the cells they attack - instead, scientists forced them to cling to plastic granules. Further, it remains only to remove the plastic from the wound along with adhering pests.

Roberts' mathematical models showed that nothing can be cured in this way, but plastic bait granules are convenient to use for intermediate treatment of wounds. For example, burns and cuts to remove pathogenic bacteria from damaged tissue. Technically, it is a form of debridement, removing necrotic tissue and byproducts to cleanse wounds.

Another way to use plastic bait is as a supplement to traditional antibiotics. If you first remove a certain amount of microorganisms from the target zone, then it will be easier for the active substances to destroy the remaining ones. However, so far all this is only a theory, and the first practical experiments have yet to be carried out.